HP Slams Cisco UCS Manager In YouTube Video

Hewlett-Packard Wednesday took to YouTube to demonstrate that its new OneView converged infrastructure management platform bests rival Cisco's Unified Compute System (UCS) Manager product.

The YouTube video, titled "HP OneView + HP BladeSystem: Faster, Simpler, Smarter than Cisco UCS Manager," features HP Vice President and Chief Engineer for HP BladeSystem Gary Thome and HP Engineer Chris Bradley providing what HP is calling a "side-by-side demo comparison of HP OneView and Cisco UCS."

HP says in the YouTube cutline that HP OneView "enables you to manage your infrastructure faster, at lower cost and with greater scale."

[Related: HP Makes Converged Infrastructure Market Grab With OneView Platform ]

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Cisco's Unified Compute System, which was launched four and a half years ago, has been a big hit in the channel with the product now on a $2 billion annualized run rate.

HP claims the biggest OneView advantages over Cisco UCS show up in terms of ease of use, simplicity and time-savings in complex IT environments.

Specifically, HP claims that OneView requires only four steps and 30 seconds of administrative time to retire a virtual local area network (VLAN) in a 160-server environment compared with 480 steps and about two hours with Cisco UCS based on internal testing by HP in September.

Cisco's UCS tackles just one small part of the converged infrastructure management problem, said Thome in a press conference question-and-answer session after the HP OneView launch.

"We think that HP OneView is just a much more comprehensive approach to managing IT infrastructure," said Thome. "When you couple that with HP BladeSystem, we really believe that this is just the best approach for enterprises for running their traditional enterprise applications, highly virtualized environments or even building a private cloud."

In the YouTube video, Thome compares what he calls the "cumbersome" UCS approach to moving a workload in a 640-server environment that involves moving manually through rows of data to the relatively quick-and-easy HP approach that features a dashboard data view of data center cool spots that could accommodate the workload change.

Cisco had not yet responded to the HP claims as of press time. But, Cisco has claimed in the past that Cisco UCS results in a 61 percent reduction in ongoing administrative/management costs.

NEXT: Cisco Partner Disputes HP OneView Vs. Cisco UCS Test Data

Jeff Drury, director of systems engineering for Mountain States Networking, a Salt Lake City-based Cisco exclusive partner that has installed 2,500 UCS servers, questioned the validity of the HP test, claiming it takes 420 steps and about two hours to decommission a VLAN with Cisco UCS.

"These are spurious test results to me," said Drury. "It's a two- or three-click operation to retire a VLAN in Cisco UCS. This seems like HP FUD [fear, uncertainty and doubt] to me. I question the HP numbers on Cisco UCS Management. I am baffled. This is not a hard process in UCS."

Drury said Cisco UCS has been a rock-solid platform for managing converged infrastructure. "We have over 100 UCS customers, and with all of those customers, I can't think of any that have had issues after a system has gone in. It is truly one of the only products in my career that is rock solid. You just don't have to go back in and do major operations once you have configured and installed it. As someone who supports UCS, I look at the results: In the four years I have been working with the product, I haven't had anyone unhappy, saying the management is harder with UCS than other platforms that they have used in the past."

John Monahan, co-owner, executive vice president sales and CFO of Convergent Technologies Group, an HP partner based in Midlothian, Va., said he sees OneView as a vendor agnostic platform that he can use to manage a complete multivendor IT infrastructure in the future.

"The way I see the HP strategy with OneView is you can manage everything under the single OneView pane of glass," he said. "That means you are no longer tied to a single vendor platform like Cisco UCS."

Monahan said HP OneView represents a major part of HP CEO Meg Whitman's drive to leverage HP's legacy as a research and development leader and technology innovator.

Convergent is aiming to bring all kinds of IT administrators, including Cisco network administrators, into its "no sales" courses to demonstrate the power of innovative emerging technology like OneView from HP, said Monahan.